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Game of Thrones Season 8 Episode 3 Review: The Battle of David and Goliath

Updated on April 30, 2019
Larinna profile image

Larinna is a movie buff and aspires to be a movie critic, hopefully. She also loves Korean dramas.

If you still haven’t watched Game of Thrones, I suggest this is the best time to do so. It is nearing its conclusion in a matter of weeks, which means you don’t have to wait for years to find out how it will all end. Fans of the series, on the other hand, have waited for almost two years for the conclusion of this saga that has spanned 8 years.

We are already three episodes in, this season, and Game of Thrones is truly cementing its reputation as an undisputed masterpiece on modern TV.

Game of Thrones Season 8 is shown every Sundays at 9PM EST (9AM PHT) on HBO
Game of Thrones Season 8 is shown every Sundays at 9PM EST (9AM PHT) on HBO | Source

We are already three episodes in, this season, and Game of Thrones is truly cementing its reputation as an undisputed masterpiece on modern TV.

A brief summary of what has happened so far this season

The first two episodes of season 8 welcomed back and reunited favorite characters of the series. The scenes and the dialogues are all subtly emotional and heart-wrenching. And for the viewer who has journeyed with them all throughout the years, every look, nuance and stare is as meaningful as the next.

Episode 1 marked the arrival of Queen Daenerys (much to the chagrin of Sansa Stark who tried to be civil as much as she could) at Winterfell. There was a parade but not much of a warm welcome as everyone in Winterfell is wary of her offer of “partnership” and “friendship.”

Episode 2 made me a fan of Sansa, who has shown that time and experience do hone a person to become the best version of himself or herself. She stood her ground in a memorable confrontation with Daenerys, who attempted to reach out but failed to do so. Arya, who started as a kid in this series and is now very much a grown-up, shocked viewers in this episode with a (tastefully) shot bed scene with Gendry, King Robert’s “bastard.” There were a lot of fans who weren’t in favor of the scene but if the series was going for the shock factor, then they definitely achieved it.

And for the viewer who has journeyed with them all throughout the years, every look, nuance and stare is as meaningful as the next.

Game of Thrones | Season 8 Episode 3 | Preview

Episode three, “The Long Night”

And now, the third and the latest episode of this season brings us the Battle of Winterfell. I have been at the edge of my seat for the past two episodes, expecting a sudden death of one of my favorite characters, and yet there was none. So when this episode rolled in, I was ready.

Tension was palpable at the beginning. There was fear, doubt, and hopelessness. And yet, they knew it must be done and so they carried on.

Melisandre, who has had her fair share of mistakes in the past seasons, had a surprise comeback to probably, redeem herself for the last time. One of the easily memorable scenes in this episode, is the one where she lights up the swords of the Dothraki warriors with fire, helping them navigate in the darkness.

The sudden burst of pride and hope was shortlived when the fire ignited by magic was easily extinguished as the Dothrakis charged to fight the White Walkers. Their battle was shrouded in darkness and silence. It was an effective imagery because I felt what the characters felt - dread. Sansa’s agreement to Arya’s coaxing - to stay at the crypt during the battle - only emphasizes the impending truth – the scale is not tipping in their favor and there will be slaughter.

The battle drags on a little too long as if painfully and literally putting emphasis to this episode’s title, “The Long Night.” But I think, somehow, this adds to the realism of the whole story. Battles are supposed to be long, exhausting, chaotic, and definitely confusing.

The battle drags on a little too long as if painfully and literally putting emphasis to this episode’s title, “The Long Night.” But I think, somehow, this adds to the realism of the whole story. Battles are supposed to be long, exhausting, chaotic, and definitely confusing.

The Battle of David and Goliath

If I were to suggest another title for this episode, it would definitely be the “Battle of David and Goliath.” It seems to be a recurring theme for this one. The whole battle between the White Walkers, led by the seemingly indestructible, Night King, against Winterfell, despite Daenerys’ dragons, seem futile.

We’ve seen in the previous season that a dragon can be killed and eventually transformed into a White Walker. We’ve seen the White Walkers in action. And what’s worse than mindless zombies (as seen in other films and tv shows) who kill and eat people and never die? Zombies with one mindset, who can wield weapons and strategize and never die.

Well, of course, Jon Snow has figured out a way to kill them with the use of dragonglass and Valyrian steel. The dragons, two to be exact, can also breathe fire to kill them. But given that the Night King also has an ice-breathing dragon now, and anyone who dies on their side can easily be revived as a White Walker by the Night King, the odds may not be in Winterfell’s favor. And it wasn’t.

Not until Arya - this episode’s little David – happened. For most of the episode, I honestly thought that Arya would be the biggest death to happen. She was shown fighting with a lot of heart and bravery, and her scenes were all poised to lead to death. But instead, and fortunately, she pulled the biggest and most welcome surprise – she killed the Night King. Blindsiding the Night King, she stealthily attacked him from behind, getting past the other Night Walkers, and ultimately stabbing him with her right hand using the Valyrian steel dagger that Bran, who she protects in this scene, gave her last season.

Also in line with this theme is Lyanna Mormont’s epic scene of bravery albeit it caused her death. The young Head of the House of Mormont, who vehemently refused to go down to the crypt, straight on combatted a giant, also blindsiding him by stabbing him with her right hand using dragonglass sword.

It must be intentional on the part of the creators to portray both of Lyanna and Arya's scenes in almost duplicate movements. They were both underestimated by the “giants” they fought and the two young ladies’ bravery and intelligent strategy ultimately caused the latters’ downfall.

Not until Arya - this episode’s little David – happened.

The Fallen

Joining the list of the fallen, aside from Lyanna, in this episode are: Melisandre, who, after the war was won, takes off her enchanted necklace, which was the one magically retaining her youth, and ultimately succumbs to old age in a matter of minutes; Edd Tollett, who dies in battle while saving Samwell Tarly; Lord Beric Dondarrion, who sacrifices himself to save Arya; Ser Jorah Mormont, who protects Queen Daenerys until the very end; and Theon Greyjoy, who fought valiantly to protect Bran, but was eventually killed by the Night King himself.

The scenes were not as bloody as I’ve been used to in previous seasons. It’s either I’ve become numb and so used to expecting gore and blood and tons of heartache from watching Game of Thrones or they’re saving their goriest yet for the succeeding episodes. There is a bigger political war, debatably, coming, and that would, I predict, involve even more blood and tears.

Game of Thrones | Season 8 Episode 4 | Preview

© 2019 Larinna

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